desynchronization. Part I of
Characters: Ogata, Sai. No pairings yet.
Disclaimer: These lovely characters are the creation of Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata. Not mine, I'm just playing in their sandbox.
Spoilers: For the entire series.
Warnings: 16 and up (I suppose?) Mild cursing and sensuality. It's possible the rating will go up eventually. Also, plot-device amnesia and resurrection...
Word Count: 5500ish.
Notes: Special thanks to my beta AiLing, who encouraged me to actually write this plot bunny.
He spent his days, of course, playing go. For variety, sometimes he picked up his biwa or his flute. Although there was no one for him to play go with, and no one to hear his energetic strumming or haunting notes. No matter how far he walked east, west, north, or south, he never found anyone. Just endless fields of ripened grasses and trees with painted leaves and a mountain range he could somehow never reach.
He had no way of determining the passage of time. It was always sunset in this land of eternal autumn. He knew that what he thought was a day might have very well been twenty-four hours or twenty-four weeks.
Still, he liked order in his existence as well as in his go, so he pretended to know and woke up at what seemed the proper time and went to sleep when he grew bored of games with himself.
When he slept, he dreamed. And in his dreams, he also searched and called just as in his waking hours:
Can you hear? Can you hear my voice?
No one ever answered.
So he continued on in the same pattern for what might have been a hundred days or a hundred years.
Until the night he drowned in his dream.
Ogata Juudan drummed his fingers against the table irritably, itching to pull out a cigarette. Of course, smoking had always been banned in the archives room; the priceless, irreplaceable kifu couldn't be risked, but lately the little insidious red "no smoking" signs had been cropping up all over the Japan Go Association at a rate that suggested they were breeding. Ogata strongly suspected the proliferation was related to the Association's campaign to lure more brats in. While Ogata had no issues with that campaign – the more brats in, the sooner decrepit old men like Kuwabara would get flushed out in the "new wave" - he did sorely mind being nicotine-deprived. Ogata permitted himself the luxury of a smirk at the mental image of Kuwabara being flushed into a rain gutter before returning to the kifu sprawled out before him.
His match against Kurata 9-dan for the right to challenge the Gosei title holder was scheduled to take place at the end of May. Kurata was a strong, wily opponent who always presented a fresh challenge, continually refining his methods and testing out new tactics on the goban. Ogata found it necessary to invest a lot of time preparing for their matches in order to secure a win, a task which he usually greeted eagerly; truly challenging opponents were becoming scarcer as his game improved.
But recently, he'd had trouble concentrating, even with the prospect of an engaging opponent looming. There was a slight but niggling disinterest that he just couldn't shake, and Ogata had noticed his go was becoming more... mechanical. He'd always been known as a precise player, executing his moves with a ruthless efficiency, but there was still a certain fluidity present, the result of those little flashes of spontaneity and inspiration that brought his go to the next level and allowed him adapt to confront different playing styles. Lately, those little flashes had been too far and few between, although he had managed to defend his Juudan title for the second time the previous month.
Ogata wondered what his old sensei would think if he were to play a game with him now, in his present state. He grimaced at the thought, and his skull started to throb again. Damn, he really needed a hit of nicotine. Of course, Touya-sensei would say little as per his custom, but that eyebrow would lift up ever so slightly in a manner that Ogata secretly found infuriating at times.
If he were to play his sensei now, he would lose.
Perhaps not by much, but the gap between himself and the Meijin had been widening ever since the old man had taken off on his wild overseas jaunt like a boy fresh out of college. Many in the go community still shook their heads in bewildered affection at what was wildly regarded as "Touya Kouyou feeling his oats" but Ogata was not one of them. He had copies of Touya's kifu faxed or e-mailed to him after every single match, and the kifu told him a story in black and white circles, a story of Touya's progression from an incredibly powerful player to an outright menace on the goban.
In the past, Ogata had been able to wrest a few victories here and there from his sensei's grasp; he'd played Touya Meijin enough over the years to prevent himself from being overwhelmed by the onslaught of Touya's go. Familiarity, along with those occasional flashes of inspiration, had allowed him to secure a few cherished wins.
But during Touya's hospitalization, something dangerous had taken root in the Meijin's game. He'd seen it in the game Touya had played with him directly after his release. Ogata had won, but in the patterns of Touya's stones, he'd seen something beautiful and dangerous emerging. Like a cobra slowly uncoiling itself, preparing to strike with a deadly grace. Ogata had wracked his brains for days, trying to figure out when the Meijin's go had taken such a dramatic turn, and had come up with only one answer:
s a i.
That mysterious Internet player who had both terrorized and thrilled the online go community with his (her?) brilliance and strength like a wired, modern Shusaku. s a i , who refused to hint at his life or even chat with opponents, the sole exception apparently being that scrappy student of Morishita's, if the loud red-head was to be believed. s a i had started playing in July 99, then disappeared forever after that fateful Internet match with Touya. Three days later, Touya lost the fifth game of their match and thus lost his title of Juudan, which he'd held for years.
And Sensei hadn't given a damn. Still didn't, judging from his latest kifu. When Ogata had probed Touya after the game (ever so tactfully, the man was his sensei), Touya had merely said he'd discovered a new element to his go, but there had been incongruous emotion like mirth or exuberance lurking in his eyes – as if Touya hadn't been about to spring news of his retirement on the unsuspecting go world, upstaging Ogata's victory. Bastard.
Ogata had hoped that replaying s a i 's Internet games and studying Shusaku's kifu would bring a spark back to his own games, but he still remained unable to shake that air of detachment. Perhaps one had to actually have been granted a chance to play s a i for the magic to work. He'd have to harass Shindou again as soon as the boy returned from China. If Shindou performed well in the Hokuto Cup the second time around, perhaps he'd be in a relaxed mood and let something slip.
With a small sigh, Ogata carefully replaced Shusaku's kifu on the shelf. Maybe a vacation was in order. It had been awhile since he'd permitted himself the luxury, he'd been so intent on claiming titles. Or maybe trying something new would stimulate him. He'd heard that old Ichiryuu had gone skydiving in Australia after an extended slump and returned energized enough to pull off a win against Shirakawa 8-dan. Ogata couldn't suppress a small chuckle at the thought of throwing himself out of a plane, thousands of meters in the air, in hopes of invigorating his go. Top that, Sensei.
Ogata took the elevator to the first floor, squinting through the dimmed lighting. He was the only one still at the Association apparently, but he wasn't surprised. It was nearly seven-thirty on a Monday night, after all. Ogata locked the doors as he left (it was rather convenient, having his own set of keys.) His favorite fish store was probably already closed, but the one by the Ichigaya canal stayed open until eight. He paused, debating whether or not to get his Mazda from the parking garage. Usually he preferred to drive everywhere, but the fish store's parking lot was basically a long, steep slope. The thought of some old woman dinging his precious car gave Ogata the shudders.
He started walking. It was only about five minutes, and Japan in early May was still tolerable.
There weren't any other customers at the fish store, so Ogata took his time, leisurely peering at the tanks. There were some rather nice, mature discus in stock; Ogata particularly liked the gold variety. But he already had angelfish at home, and he'd heard that angelfish would harass discus mercilessly. Too bad. He wasn't spending 7000 yen on a fish to have it die from stress.
By the time the store closed, Ogata still didn't feel ready to return to the Association and kifu research, so instead he strolled down the narrow sidewalk that ran alongside the canal. Occasionally, a fish would leap out of the water to snap at a bug, weak moonlight glinting off silvery scales. Ogata stopped to pull his cigarettes out of his pockets. No damned signs here. He leaned his arms on the sidewalk's railing as he puffed away contentedly, admiring the way the water looked under the moonlight with the railroad tracks in the background. At night, one would never guess the water actually had an ugly, murky green hue by day.
That didn't mean idiots ought to throw their trash in the canal, Ogata thought, narrowing his eyes. Something big and white had gotten tangled in the roots of the willow tree that clung to the bank, almost directly below his position. He wondered if it were a bed sheet. The way it rippled gently in the water reminded him of the trailing, delicate fins of a white strain of betta. "The Ghost Betta," they called it.
Ogata took a few more puffs, noticing that there were long, black strands attached to the sheet. Bed sheets don't have hair, Ogata noted idly, about a second before his brain put two and two together. Oh shit. In retrospect, he was proud that he only hesitated for a moment before scrambling over the railway (his pants were white, after all.) Ogata crouched low as he picked his way down the canal bank; the slope was steep and his dress shoes had horrible traction.
The stranger was almost completely submerged, except for her head. Ogata was relieved; he wouldn't have touched a corpse. Her eyes were shut, though. If she were unconscious, that would explain why she was still in the water. But then Ogata noticed her hands – her fingernails were literally digging into the tree's roots, her grip was so tense. Surely she had to be at least somewhat aware.
"Hey, wake up." Ogata gently shook a shoulder. "You can't stay here all night," he said reasonably.
The woman's eyes fluttered open. She looked dazed, although Ogata couldn't smell any alcohol on her. Maybe she was high. He hoped not. Even a small woman could be a real challenge if she were strung out. It would explain how she'd managed to end up in the canal, though: the railing was too high for a person to simply fall in by not paying attention.
"Where?" she rasped, casting her gaze around nervously. Her voice was quite hoarse; how long had she been in the water?
"The Ichigaya canal. I'm guessing you weren't out for an evening swim?" Ogata wrapped his right arm around the willow's trunk before extending his left hand. "Here, let go and take my hand."
The woman regarded him warily for a long moment and bit her lip before reaching her hands out. Ogata hauled her forward heavily, leaning back to compensate for the weight of her water-logged clothing. She stumbled on the willow's roots, so Ogata was obliged to catch her under the arm. He suppressed a sigh. Damned good deed was going to get him soaking wet. He placed her other arm across his shoulders. "I'll help you walk to the road," he said, pointing his chin to the left. They'd have to walk alongside the bank; there was no way this woman could manage climbing up the slope and over the fence in her present state. The slope was at least three meters high, and Ogata could feel the woman trembling as if her legs would give out at any moment. He guided her carefully over a small rain culvert. Her sodden clothing certainly wasn't helping matters either – it was long and caught in the overgrown grasses, and it was heavy as hell. Actually, perhaps costume would be a more accurate term than clothing, the style reminded him of something out of a Noh play. He could barely feel her arms under all the layers – who wore three layers of clothes in May? And it was genuine silk, too, judging from the feel of it. And her hair was ridiculously long, at least down to her hips. Nowadays, most women didn't even grow their hair past their shoulders.
Finally they made it to the end of that stretch of canal. Ogata helped the woman sit down in the grass near the road. "Do you want to call someone to pick you up?" he asked, patting his pockets for his cell phone, only to discover he'd forgotten it in the archives room. Damn. "Look, I seem to have forgotten my cell phone. I'm going to get my car, and then I can just drive you home, okay?" Ogata offered, reasoning that the woman must live nearby.
"I was just sleeping... and then I was... drowning." She sounded like she was on the verge of tears. Ogata really hoped not. He could handle just about anything, including a woman having a full-blown temper-tantrum complete with flying go stones (well, that time had actually been rather entertaining, although perhaps he shouldn't have laughed to begin with.) Anything but a crying woman.
"It's okay now." Ogata patted her on the shoulder. "Just wait here while I get my car. It's close. And please don't fall into the canal again."
She offered him the barest hint of a smile as if to suggest she would do her very best.
Ogata hurried back to the Association as quickly as he could stride. He would have jogged, but his dress shoes weren't designed for it. Ogata wondered if the woman really were a sleep-walker, and decided he liked that explanation better than drugs because she wouldn't be going stark raving mad on him anytime soon. He rushed up to the archives room to retrieve his cell phone, then to the parking garage.
When Ogata returned, the woman was still sitting where he had left her. Ogata put his emergency flashers on and opened the passenger door before helping her – and her copious robes – into the car. "Where to?"
She blinked in confusion and Ogata arched his eyebrows up, wondering if perhaps this sodden affair wasn't going to be resolved as quickly as he'd like. She was apparently still suffering from the affects of near-drowning or hitting her head. He turned his emergencies off and drove to the nearest parking lot, flicking on the dome light as he engaged the emergency brake. "It's alright. Just take your time. You're probably still exp--"
Ogata's voice broke off as he got his first good look at the woman. It had been too dark outside with only a quarter moon, but under the dome light he could see that she was gorgeous. Her thick black hair complemented a pale, flawless complexion, and she also had fine cheekbones and a mouth that looked both proud and dainty. But her eyes were absolutely compelling, an unusual shade – violet?-- with some of the longest lashes Ogata had ever seen.
Ogata pretended to cough, glad the woman was still too out of it to have noticed his staring. "As I was saying, you're probably still experiencing the effects of a concussion. I should take you to a hospital so they can run some tests."
"No!" The woman sat up straight in her seat, jerking against the seat belt in her haste. "I don't want to go there!"
Surprised at the sudden outburst, Ogata instinctively drew back. The woman flushed and hid her mouth behind a flowing sleeve. "Please forgive me," she said. "I did not mean to be rude. I just don't know this 'hospital' place."
She had good breeding, at least; her speech was very polite and respectful. Although her voice was hoarse, it wasn't slurred at all, which was a good sign. But Ogata was disturbed by the way she referred to a hospital. It wasn't uncommon for people to be afraid of hospitals, but she was acting as if she didn't know what it was. He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, pursing his lips thoughtfully. "What about ... the police?" Ogata ventured. "There's a koban very close, right across from the station."
The woman's fingers curled into her palms. "I'm sorry, I don't know that either." Ogata felt his eyebrows shooting up to his hairline. He'd heard of people temporarily forgetting things like the date and their pet's name, but the hospital? The police?
"That's not good. I'm going to do a quick check to make certain you're not seriously injured," Ogata said as he started rummaging under his seat for his car emergency kit. He pulled a small flashlight and flicked it on. "I'll shine this in your eyes so I can make sure they're dilating properly, okay?" The woman nodded and Ogata gently tilted her chin up, noting that she did not cringe away from his touch. He shone the light in her right pupil first, then her left. Her pupils seemed to be responding like anyone else's, as far as he could tell. He held up an index finger. "How many?"
Ogata held up three fingers.
Ogata sat on his hand, keeping his features straight. "How many now?" Ogata was rewarded with a full smile, one that lit the woman's features up, making her seem quite young, definitely younger than he was. He wondered if she were a college student, and then remembered there were other questions one ought ask a head injury victim. "I'm Ogata Seiji. It's nice to make your acquaintance, although perhaps not under these circumstances."
The woman bowed as far as the seat belt allowed. "Thank you for your assistance, Ogata-san. I'm Fujiwara... Fujiwara..." A look of vague horror flitted across the woman's face, and she drew her hand up to her mouth. "I don't remember. I don't remember my given name," she said, sounding stunned.
Ogata was alarmed, but he didn't want to upset the woman into tears. "I'm sure it will come to you soon. I'll just call you Fujiwara-san for now. Do you remember how old you are?"
She thought for a moment, then bit her lip. "No."
"Where do you live?"
She shook her head.
"Who's the prime minister?"
" 'Prime minister'...?"
"Do you have a headache, or does your neck feel stiff?"
"No, I don't think so."
That was odd. Ogata figured the woman – Fujiwara – ought to be experiencing at least some pain if her injury were severe enough to make her forget her name. "Can you hold your right arm out like this?" He stretched his own over the dashboard.
Fujiwara mimicked him easily, then stretched out the left as well.
"You don't seem to have any motor skills problems." Ogata fiddled with his glasses again, rather intrigued to have run across someone with apparent, genuine amnesia. It was like a puzzle. Puzzles could be fun off the goban, too.
"Are you a doctor?"
Ogata made a small, dry laugh. "No, I just spent a lot of time harassing one when I was a brat, following her around and playing with her stethoscope. I'm a professional go player; that is, I play games for a living," he said, waiting for her inevitable reaction of surprise or befuddlement or even disdain. He'd gotten some terribly amusing reactions before, as if he'd just admitted to playing professional strip poker for a living.
"That's wonderful," Fujiwara said, her voice soft, but there was something so openly genuine in her tone that Ogata glanced away for a moment, embarrassed at his own assumptions.
"I don't suppose you're familiar with go, then?"
"I apologize. I don't think so. It's just that when you mentioned go, you seemed... happy. Like you love it."
"Sometimes. But that's not really important now," Ogata said, mentally scolding himself. Peppering an amnesiac about go, honestly, Seiji. "I don't think you're in immediate danger, so I think it would be okay for you to go home, although you really ought to go to a ho—doctor—tomorrow and at least get a scan done. Have you remembered where you live, or your phone number? Your parents?"
Fujiwara looked down at her folded hands. "Please excuse me. Nothing's coming back yet."
Ogata knew then he was stuck in a tough spot. He really didn't know where else to bring her since her amnesia made her afraid of the hospital and the police. He supposed he could just dump her off at one of those places against her wishes, but the thought of doing that to a young woman sat wrong in his gut.
Then Ogata heard the sound of a seat-belt being unfastened, and saw that Fujiwara's face was set in resolve.
"Ogata-san, thank you very much for your assistance. I apologize for taking up so much of your evening and getting you wet. I wish there was some way I could repay your kindness."
"You're just going to start walking?" Ogata asked in disbelief as she put her hand on the door handle, and Fujiwara nodded firmly.
"Where exactly are you going to walk to? It's dark, you're not well, and you don't remember anything. You're also young to be wandering around by yourself." A little harsh, but Fujiwara needed to realize she was being foolish, especially since her sensitive behavior and mannerisms suggested she was used to being sheltered by her probably doting parents, who could afford to buy her authentic, silk costumes. Ogata bet that she had never even lived on her own.
"I'll be fine. I'm sure things will start to come to me soon. Please forgive the inconveniences," Fujiwara said with a trace of haughtiness as she got out of the car. Ogata realized his miscalculation then: because of Fujiwara's politeness, he hadn't realized that he was dealing with a very proud woman.
Ogata watched her stand in the parking lot, clearly trying to decide which direction to take. I ought to just let her walk around by herself in the dark, sopping wet. She'll learn a valuable lesson. And it wasn't like Ichigaya was Roppongi or Kabukicho. She'd be fine, Ogata reasoned. He ought to forget about her and go back to the Association and actually study for a hour or so, then dinner.
Except it would just be his luck to start worrying about her instead of concentrating. She was exceptionally beautiful, after all. Maybe someone would try to take advantage of her. Or she would start hemorrhaging from an undetected internal injury. Or his mother would find out he let a young woman wander off by herself in the dark. Ogata drew a sharp breath: his mother was a force of nature not to be meddled with.
Well, time for a new game strategy. Ogata got out of his car. "Fujiwara-san, I apologize if I offended you. Why don't you stay at my apartment tonight?" he proposed smoothly. "After you've had some rest, you'll probably start remembering things, and then you can call someone to come pick you up." Ogata usually did not invite people to his apartment, even his girlfriends. He had a very particular order and he liked things quiet so he could concentrate. But one night was okay, and hadn't he been wanting to try something new anyway? Rescuing a lovely stranger was cheaper and safer than skydiving.
Fujiwara hesitated, but Ogata could see uncertainty starting to crumble her proud expression. "You... wouldn't mind? I wouldn't be imposing on you and your family?"
"No, it's not a problem. And I live alone."
Fujiwara bowed to him deeply, almost to her waist. "Then, please accept my deepest gratitude. You are truly a kind man."
Ogata bowed back, a little awkwardly. She really was well-mannered, if a little old-fashioned. And kindness wasn't a trait that was usually attributed to Ogata, but it wasn't like he could have just left her alone in the dark.
On the drive to his apartment, Ogata learned a few interesting things. Fujiwara's amnesia was not complete. When they'd driven by a hospital, Ogata had pointed it out to her. She'd recognized the ambulances in front of it, and recalled having ridden in one before, and that memory triggered other memories of doctors and nurses inside the hospital. So she hadn't actually "forgotten" the concept of a hospital, she just didn't recognize the word hospital. The mechanisms of the brain were intriguing indeed.
Given that, Ogata wondered if she did really work for the Takarazuka theater troupe. She hadn't recognized the name when he'd asked her about it, but given her amnesia, perhaps that didn't mean much. He'd gotten a chance to examine her costume more closely, and was convinced it was an extremely accurate replica of a Heian-era nobleman's clothing, especially since Fujiwara had sadly noted that she'd lost her "eboshi" (that funny-looking black hat, if he remembered his history classes correctly.) It had been awhile since he'd attended a Takarazuka performance, but Ogata recalled that the all-female troupe specialized in historical re-enactments, and the actresses who played the male roles were both notably tall and beautiful. He was tall himself, but when Fujiwara had been standing outside of the car, he realized she was actually a little taller. Also, if she were used to playing a character like a Heian noble, it would also explain the deep bowing and why she hid her mouth behind that water-ruined fan when she giggled or was embarrassed. Strange, but yet oddly charming – like one would expect an actor to be.
The entrance to Ogata's high-rise apartment was completely electronic. No guards or receptionists to deal with, just a wave of his security card and then a ride up the elevators. Ogata preferred it that way, especially now since he was currently accompanied by a still-soaking wet young woman and didn't feel like dealing with questioning glances. Although, of course, he already had a clever story concocted about a friend's costume party and a pool and a little too much alcohol in case his neighbor's nosy Chinese aunt happened to be on her self-assigned corridor patrol tonight.
The corridors were thankfully deserted, and the story was not needed. Ogata removed his shoes in his apartment's entranceway and left Fujiwara there while he fetched towels. She tried valiantly to dry off, but there were simply too many layers of clothing for her to be successful. "You'll have to hang those up to dry. Come to the restroom, I'll give you a change of clothes – I think it should fit you okay, as long as you don't mind wearing men's clothes."
Fujiwara gave him a puzzled look. "No, of course not." Then she glanced down at his floor, hesitating to step forward.
"Don't worry. This apartment is all tile – no tatami here." Ogata gave her a reassuring smile, and she followed him down the hallway. Ogata noticed that her eyes lit up when they passed by the opened door of his study – she must have seen the aquarium, glowing in the dark.
Ogata opened the door to the restroom and gestured inside. "There are more towels in that cabinet under the sink if you need them. Wait and I'll get the clothes."
Ogata went to his bedroom and rummaged through his bottom dresser drawer, where he stashed clothes he no longer wore. He settled on a pair of cotton sweatpants with a drawstring, and a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a pair of thick socks. Ogata, naturally, owned no women's underclothes, so he supposed Fujiwara would just have to make do with whatever she was already wearing or go commando if she so chose. Then he grabbed some hangers so she could hang her clothes on the shower rod.
He handed the clothes and hangers to Fujiwara, who accepted them with a smile. "I'll be in the kitchen putting on some tea for when you're done." The tea would be good for Fujiwara's raspy throat, and maybe it would stave off a cold.
Ogata was pouring the hot water into the teacups by the time he heard Fujiwara emerge from the bathroom. Must have taken awhile to dry off all that hair, a thought that was confirmed by the mussed appearance of her now-unbound hair when she stepped into the kitchen. "I'm glad the clothes seem to fit. Luckily you've got long arms and legs too," he said as he added a bit of honey into his own tea. "Do you want anything in yours?"
"No thank you."
Ogata handed the cup to Fujiwara before enjoying a few sips of his own. He flicked his gaze over her discreetly, noting that she definitely seemed a lot better, displaying no weakness or trembling as she had when he'd first pulled her out. Her body seemed lean and strong, so that would doubtless aid in her recovery from amnesia.
Ogata was almost finished with his tea when he realized that Fujiwara's body was a little too lean and flat. As a matter of fact, she... had no breasts at all.
"You're not a woman." To his credit, he managed to state it fairly calmly.
"Ehhhhh??!!" Fujiwara turned a brilliant red and jumped a little, almost sloshing her--his tea out of the cup. "Why would you think I was a woman? I was wearing men's clothes – I'm wearing men's clothes now!"
Ogata almost mentioned the Takarazuka again before remembering that Fujiwara didn't recall the troupe. He could definitely see a little Adam's apple in Fujiwara's throat now that he knew to look for it; earlier, it had been concealed by the robes. But even knowing that, Fujiwara still seemed remarkably feminine in appearance. Ogata had seen beautiful men before--had even seduced a few--but he'd never mistaken them for women. Maybe it was the body language and the behavior. Fujiwara's definitely had a few wires crossed. "Well, you do have long hair and you're wearing earrings, too," Ogata finally stated, trying to pick features that seemed like relatively neutral territory.
Fujiwara fingered his earrings with a slight pout. "Men can wear earrings and long hair too." Then he furrowed his brow in worry. "You're not... upset with me, are you?"
"No, just a little surprised is all. It doesn't really matter," Ogata said calmly. It wasn't as if Fujiwara had ever explicitly claimed to be a woman, or that he had asked. They'd both just acted on their own assumptions. True, Ogata would have been a little more wary of letting a strange man in his apartment, but Fujiwara just didn't seem capable of posing any sort of threat. Although they were both about the same height, Fujiwara looked very slender. Ogata wasn't a big-framed man like Touya Kouyou, but he did work out regularly enough to have a well-muscled body. Fujiwara didn't give the impression of being capable of physical aggression, either.
Ogata let his gaze flick over Fujiwara again, noticing that the other man had lovely posture. Fujiwara being male didn't change the fact that he was pleasant to look at. Ogata could manage with a strange man in his apartment for one night.
A/N: I have a lot of research footnotes for this story. Unfortunately, Ffnet doesn't allow me to link to my research, so if you're curious, go to my profile, then to my LJ account, which is linked as my homepage. On my LJ account, you'll see a permanent post as my first post – access this story through that post, and then you can see all my notes. Sorry for the trouble.
next chapter: a casual game of go turns into a big surprise for Ogata. Surprise time. :)